Please Welcome 'Mr. Cuddles's
As the dark cold of winter recedes and the soft light of spring emerges, the land shakes off its blanket of snow, and wakes from a period of slumber. In our house sleepy murmurs of new born puppies has been replaced by the chaos of yelps and squeals. Katie's puppies are now seven weeks old and are ready to leave our home - boy, are they ready to leave our home! Mr. Cuddles will be the first to go to begin his exciting new journey with his human family.
Like all canine mothers, Katie has taught him many things. She has taught him to display a down posture to show respect and submission. She has instructed him to lick an older dog's muzzle to recognize their authority. She has encouraged him to play without being too rough, and she has helped him to learn to control the intensity of his sharp toothed puppy bites.
Mr. Cuddles' first night away from Katie and his litter mates will be very stressful. Gentle guidance and affection will help to cement a close bond between Mr. Cuddles and his new human family. Like all creatures, puppies thrive on affection and respond most positively to touch and soft voices. Gentle strokes and tender hugs will make Mr. Cuddles feel like he is a valued part of the family.
Don't be worried when he cries -- all puppies cry the first few nights. Have him sleep beside your bed in a crate. When he cries, place your fingers through the slats of the crate. Your smell and your touch will help him to feel secure, and will allow him to settle into a quiet sleep.
Feed Mr. Cuddles three times a day. Allow about 15 minutes for him to eat. Any left over food can be given during the next meal. I like to soak kibble in warm water to soften it before giving it to him. Always leave fresh water close at paw for Mr. Cuddles to drink.
Expect him to relieve himself about five minutes after eating. When he has eaten, bring him outside to an area you would like him to use as a puppy bathroom. Mr. Cuddles will immediately begin to sniff and to explore. Try not to distract him, simply watch and learn the signals he gives to show he is getting ready to pee. He will slow his pace and begin to circle a spot. Mr. Cuddles will pause, put his nose close to the ground and carefully sniff. Then he will raise his tail and squat. When he has finished, reward him with a food treat. Puppies will usually wet after each meal and when they wake from a nap. Never hit or punish Mr. Cuddles for accidentally wetting. He didn't do it on purpose, he just didn't understand.
Puppies thrive on attention and affection, but they also need direction and feedback. Gentle and consistent discipline helps them to know what they are allowed to do. Be a good leader -- be firm, fair and consistent. Mr. Cuddles will love you for it!Noel Pepin -- Noel Pepin Canine Behaviour Specialists